The term metropolis refers to a large, sprawling city—one that often has as its focal point a dense cluster of skyscrapers. It is hard to look at these soaring buildings separately because they are gathered so close to one another. For the images in Metropolis, taken in and around New York City, I wanted to isolate these buildings to alter viewers’ usual experience of them.
I photographed individual structures with a consistently vertical composition, so that no other buildings could be seen, and cropped them fairly close to their apex. This left a disproportionate amount of sky above them. By photographing the buildings at different times of day I was able to control the color and shading of the sky in the background, which ranges from a strong, solid blue to more pastel gradations of blue, green, and yellow. In Metropolis the sky becomes a sort of seamless background, as if in a studio. Using this approach, my intention was to highlight the character and simplicity of individual buildings—qualities that are ordinarily hidden when they are clustered together with other structures and seen from the usual pedestrian’s vantage point.